LFTF Premiere: OL: Body Varial (EP Stream)
Posted in Recent
Russia's footwork scene has been subject to a number of close examinations recently. The immense Fly Russia compilation, courtesy of the good folks at Italy-based label Error Broadcast, helped plenty in putting the contemporary sound of Moscow and beyond on the blogmap, and introduced us to a bunch of noteworthy names. One of the movement's most prolific figureheads is OL, born Oleg Buyanov. Not only was his dizzying bleepfest "Kombi" among the standouts on the compilation, his more recent works with RAD collective-partner Vtgnike, as well as Soundcloud exclusives like his wonderful Lil B edit have catapulted him into the upper realms of our producers-to-watch list.
With his new Body Varial EP, OL shows that he has an understanding of the classic Chicago origins of footwork, while at the same time establishing himself firmly in both post-Dilla and post-Luger modes of production. A collage of glistening, kosmonautic textures permeates the record, deep-rooted bass-blasts send signals from below. Rhythmically rich compositions drift in and out of genre signifiers. The trap-leaning "Keep Calm" is a peak time-dream come true for many a bass music DJ. "Combination" chops up Raekwon into what we referred to earlier as "a ballistically-equipped sci-fi-hovercraft". The patient "Highest Jump" takes its time to build up its percussion, bubbling beneath the surface just long enough to set the scene for the summery, Ghetto Tek-esque, Lapti-featuring closer "Makemefeel."
But hear for yourself --Live For The Funk is proud to present Body Varial a week ahead of its official release on Error Broadcast (October 8). We also got a chance to exchange a few words with the man resposible. Read our interview with OL and stream all 6 EP tracks below i.e. grab a dose of Russian footwork at its finest.
Tell us a bit about yourself… Who are you? How long have you been making music?
My real name is Oleg and I’m from Moscow. I’ve been studying Psychology at Moscow Psychopedagogical University. I started making music when I got my first computer – which was about 10 years ago.
Who or what exactly is the RAD collective?
RAD is a Moscow based creative community and record label. It consists mainly of Miracle Libido, Low Bob, Lapti, 813, Vtgnike and myself. Our aim is to spread Russian underground music. We also make parties.
What are the main hubs for Moscow’s juke/footwork movement?
We don’t really have special places to play footwork and you can’t see people dance like in Chicago. Nobody here can really dance footwork seriously. We play these tunes for fun and people love hearing them in a DJ set – like everywhere else in Europe actually.
How important was the release of the Fly Russia compilation for the scene? Have things changed since then?
Yeah, I am still getting feedback from a lot of people about Fly Russia! Everyone seems to love it. Gotta thank Error Broadcast for making that happen, too.
What strikes me about Error Broadcast but also other labels like Berlin’s Project:Mooncircle is that there seems to be somewhat of a natural progression from folks who did lots of glitchy hip-hop stuff in the past to a more footwork-oriented approach. Do you think that is the logical step for many producers right now, going from glitch hop to footwork?
I don’t know, there just seems to be a hype around footwork everywhere right now, and also trap stuff. The footwork structure is a good platform for future-oriented electronic music. It’s new, unusual, and so expressive to play in clubs. Here in Russia there is a lot of stuff floating around from the 80s and 90s – great jazz, funk, soul, pop, disco – that can be reworked into footwork. It really just started as an experiment for me. I think I’ll probably go on to other styles in the future.
Let’s talk about your musical background. On “Combination” you’re sampling Raekwon and you also play lots of rap songs in your sets. Are you a hip-hop guy?
Yeah, I like hip-hop, but I’m usually booked at house/techno events so I play dance music. I like to do drops in the middle of a set with some famous hip-hop track.
Was there a particular sound you were going for on your new Body Varial EP?
I think the new EP is more electronic-based. I used less samples and most of the tracks were produced on synthesizers.
Is it a record for the clubs or for the headphones?
I am always looking for the sound in the middle, trying to combine both modes of listening.
What’s gonna be the next step for you?
I think I want to drop an album later this year. I don’t know where that’s going to end up yet, but I am trying to compile tracks for an LP. So wish me good luck and we’ll see!
Pre-order Body Varial via Error Broadcast.